SAULT STE. MARIE -- Online learning is taking centre stage this year for Family Literacy Day across the country.

It's the first time ABC Literacy Canada's event has gone virtual in its 22-year history, but its executive director said it's a crucial component.

"What we're saying is that your family can be your social learning environment, your family can be your inspiration," said Mark Rogers. "And in truth, your family is the group that has the most influence on your learning."

As different community initiatives go online, Rogers stressed the importance of digital literacy. In particular, as society moves online, he said it can just as crucial to pick up those skills.

Rogers said building community connections is also an important component to the day.

"We really think that individual, community-based activity, even though virtual, is still really about connecting people," he said.

In Sault Ste. Marie, the public library is partnering with the Soo Greyhounds to give challenges to kids.

"One of their players, Alex Johnson, did a video and it was a challenge to kids to submit a picture of themselves reading with their families," said Sharon Wigney, manager of public services.

Wigney said Greyhound players would visit the library under normal circumstances, but the pandemic is keeping people at home.

Instead, she said the emphasis has turned to making activities more entertaining.

"For a lot of kids that … may struggle a little bit, the idea behind this is to generate the idea that it is fun, there's fun activities," she said.

For those who complete challenges, Wigney said submitting a photo will enter them for a chance to win some Greyhound-related prizes.